A fricassee is a stew with fried pieces of meat that has been browned in butter and is cooked in a white sauce. A fricassee is a rustic meal that is enjoyed all over Europe and beyond. This particular version is a Hungarian version, made popular from the Hungarian Magyars.
The Magyars were historically nomadic travelers, who watched over their herds on the plains. Meats were their primary food sources. Beef, particularly dried beef, was a staple for the Magyars. It was cooked in a large cast-iron kettle known as a bogracs and that is how they made their goulashes and tarhonya or egg barley. Beef is the number one meat in traditional Hungarian dishes, closely followed by pork. Chicken, lamb and veal are eaten too, though lamb and veal are considered more of a delicacy and are usually only eaten around Easter. Chicken is usually served for Sunday dinners.
Pork was what was first in line in our latest meat rotation, and you all know how much I love to try new things and experiment with new, fun recipes. So I rummaged through my culinary library and found a Hungarian recipe for a pork fricassee, or a recipe for Becsinalt Borju. That is a mouth full. This is one instance where English is much better than when in it is spoken in its native tongue. 🙂
Of course, I changed things around a bit and personalized the dish. Would you really expect anything less? The original recipe calls for veal, but we never eat veal, so pork it was. That was one change. I also marinated my pork with lemon juice, olive oil, lemon balsamic vinegar and black pepper first, which made it very tender and flavorful. I marinated the pork for about 4 hours before cooking it.
Hungarian Pork Fricassee
4 cups of broth – I used my ham broth Rustic Ham and Bean Soup
salt & pepper to taste
2 lbs boneless pork or veal or chicken
2-3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1-2 TBSP green onions, sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced very thin
2-3 TBSP butter
2-3 TBSP flour
1 cup mushrooms, either sliced thick or quartered
1 1/2 cups asparagus cut into pieces
1 TBSP garlic
2 TBSP lemon juice
As I mentioned, I marinated my pork first, then sliced into thick slices before cooking it.
Get a large skillet very hot and add the butter, then add the pork with the marinade and cook until it is thoroughly cooked, and just lightly browned around the edges.
Once the pork is cooked remove it from the skillet and set aside, then add olive oil to the mix and cook all the vegetables except for the green onions and parsley, for about 5-7 minutes.
Add the broth, flour and seasonings and re-add the pork and combine together well. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add about half the green onions and parsley and the lemon juice right before serving and mix together thoroughly. Add the remainder of the green onions and parsley right before serving. You can serve this over either rice, mashed or boiled potatoes or even pasta. I served it over rice this time, with some warmed ciabiatta bread and a crisp, citrusy chardonnay on the side. Finom, or delicious.
Stay warm, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.